Role of the JAK-STAT pathway in protection against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury

Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2003 Feb;13(2):72-9. doi: 10.1016/s1050-1738(02)00230-x.


The Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway is a stress-responsive mechanism that transduces signals from the cell surface to the nucleus, thereby modulating gene expression. Recent studies have demonstrated that myocardial ischemia and reperfusion induce rapid activation of this pathway. Although the functional consequences of this event remain to be elucidated, there is emerging evidence that JAK-STAT signaling plays an important role in the development of the cardioprotected phenotype associated with ischemic preconditioning. Specifically, brief episodes of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion activate JAK1 and JAK2, followed by recruitment of STAT1 and STAT3, resulting in transcriptional upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which then mediate the infarct-sparing effects of the late phase of preconditioning. The present review focuses on this novel cardioprotective role of JAK-STAT signaling and on its potential exploitation for developing therapeutic strategies aimed at limiting ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcriptional Activation / physiology*


  • Trans-Activators
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • JAK1 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 1